|Full Name:||Paul Bruce Dickinson|
|Birthday:||August 7, 1958|
|Birth Place:||Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England|
|Occupation:||Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Author, Broadcaster, Airline Pilot|
|Associated Acts:||Iron Maiden, Samson|
|Net Worth:||$115 Million|
As the larger-than-life frontman of the legendary British metal band Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson is rightfully seen as one of the most important and iconic vocalists in the history of heavy metal.
For over 40 years, Dickinson has captivated millions of metal fans worldwide with his operatic multi-octave wailing, his boundless energy onstage, and his outstanding showmanship. Beyond his work with Iron Maiden, Dickinson has cultivated a fascinating career as a solo artist, airline pilot, broadcaster, author, beer brewer, entrepreneur, and competitive fencer.
Dickinson‘s powerful voice and charismatic stage presence have made him a defining figure of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. He is revered by fans and musicians alike for expanding the possibilities of metal singing and pioneering the flamboyant theatrical style that has defined heavy metal frontmen for generations.
Early Life and Musical Beginnings
Paul Bruce Dickinson was born on August 7, 1958 in the small town of Worksop in Nottinghamshire, England. Even from a young age, Bruce was drawn to music and performance.
"I used to drive my parents nuts singing around the house all the time. The only way they could shut me up was when I had a tennis racket in my hands hitting a tennis ball against the wall." (Bruce Dickinson)
As a teenager, Dickinson attended Oundle boarding school where he began singing in local bands and learned to fence competitively at the national level.
After finishing school, Dickinson enrolled at Queen Mary College in London to study history. He continued singing in local bands and worked part-time at a pub. By 1979, he became the lead singer of the metal band Samson, where he started to develop his signature operatic vocal technique.
Soaring to Fame with Iron Maiden
Dickinson got his big break in 1981 when he auditioned to be the new lead singer of the up-and-coming British metal band Iron Maiden, replacing Paul Di‘Anno. Dickinson‘s jaw-dropping four-octave vocal range blew away the band and immediately cemented him as Maiden‘s new frontman.
Dickinson made his recording debut with Iron Maiden on their 1982 album The Number of the Beast, which took the band‘s popularity to new heights. His operatic vocals perfectly suited Maiden‘s intricate, twin-guitar driven sound.
Throughout the 1980s, Iron Maiden became one of the biggest metal bands in the world. Dickinson‘s voice powered metal classics like "Run to the Hills", "2 Minutes to Midnight", and "The Trooper" that received heavy rotation on MTV. His theatrical stage presence and boundless energy mesmerized audiences.
"When Bruce joined Maiden it gave us a missing piece of the puzzle. His voice and performance took us to a new level." (Steve Harris, bassist and founder of Iron Maiden)
Iron Maiden‘s 1986-87 Somewhere in Time world tour saw them performing in arenas to over 250,000 fans total across Europe and North America. Dickinson cemented his reputation as one of the greatest frontmen in metal history.
Launching a Solo Career
Even while in Iron Maiden, Dickinson pursued solo work on the side that allowed him to expand his musical creativity. His debut solo album, Tattooed Millionaire, was released in 1990 and shot to #1 on the UK album charts powered by the hit single "Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter".
His next solo record, Balls to Picasso, in 1994, experimented with a rawer hard rock sound. But it was the 1996 album Skunkworks that became Dickinson‘s most critically-praised solo record. It featured a darker, progressive metal style that was a departure from classic Maiden.
"I was trying to prove with Skunkworks that there was more to my music than just Maiden. And I think it was a success creatively, even if it was tough commercially." (Bruce Dickinson)
Dickinson continued to balance his solo work with his responsibilities in Iron Maiden throughout the ‘90s. This allowed him to showcase different sides of his musicianship that went beyond the Maiden catalog.
Leaving and Rejoining Iron Maiden
By 1993, tensions within Iron Maiden led Dickinson to exit the band and pursue other projects. While Maiden carried on with new singer Blaze Bayley, Dickinson worked on his solo career and began branching out into other ventures.
In the late ‘90s, Dickinson rejoined his former Maiden bandmates for a series of reunion concerts that re-ignited their creative chemistry. In 1999, Dickinson officially returned to Iron Maiden full-time for a new album and tour.
This kicked off an amazing late-career surge for Iron Maiden. Now back with their iconic frontman, the band has released five studio albums since 2000, including classis like Brave New World (2000) and The Book of Souls (2015).
Into his 60s, Dickinson still performs with incredible vocal power and energetic showmanship that defies his age. He sounds as epic today as he did in Maiden‘s ‘80s heyday. When Dickinson takes the stage clad in his signature flat cap, fans know they are witnessing heavy metal history in the flesh.
"As long as I have the lungs and the crazy energy, I don‘t see any reason to stop rocking with Maiden. This is what I love to do." (Bruce Dickinson)
Renaissance Man Outside Music
Aside from music, Bruce Dickinson has cultivated many eclectic passions and talents that showcase what a true renaissance man he is:
- Pilot: Dickinson earned his commercial pilot‘s license in his time away from Maiden in the ‘90s. He now works part-time as a captain for the aviation group Astraeus. He‘s flown Iron Maiden on their tours in the customized Boeing 757, Ed Force One.
- Broadcaster: From 2002 to 2010, Dickinson hosted the BBC radio show Masters of Rock. He also hosted radio programs about aviation history.
- Author: Dickinson penned two memoirs, The Adventures of Lord Iffy Boatrace (1990) and What Does This Button Do? (2017).
- Fencing: Dickinson has fenced at the elite competitive level and represented Britain internationally. He often warms up for Iron Maiden shows by fencing.
- Beer Brewing: Dickinson contracted the Ison Distribution brewery to create his own beer, Best Bitter, in the 1990s.
- Cancer Survivor: In 1998, Dickinson overcame tongue cancer after six months of intensive treatment. Against the odds, he re-trained himself as a singer and recovered his full vocal abilities through sheer willpower.
These wide-ranging accomplishments showcase Dickinson as a creative force who never stops chasing down new challenges and passions.
With his extraordinary vocal talents, magnetic stage presence, and Long running career fronting one of history‘s greatest metal bands, Bruce Dickinson has permanently made his mark on heavy metal.
He has influenced generations of metal singers with his pioneering operatic wailing and flamboyant performance style. Over four decades later, his voice remains instantly recognizable.
Outside music, Dickinson‘s endeavors as an airline pilot, broadcaster, author and entrepreneur have shown his relentless drive to master new skills. He has proven himself a true heavy metal renaissance man.
Now in his 60s, the "Air Raid Siren" can still belt out Iron Maiden anthems at full power and energize crowds with his youthful stage theatrics. Bruce Dickinson remains an active, vital force at the forefront of heavy metal. For diehard fans, his concerts are the stuff of legend, where we can witness metal history brought to life.